Post: What a Busy, Productive Summer It’s Been!

Warmest greetings to everyone!

Here we are, it is almost the middle of August as I write. Summer is surging by us…And what a busy, productive summer it has been!

We have our new 100 ft. round pen completed (with many thanks to Rossignol Excavation and Mackenzie Landscaping for providing footing material for the horses). Now we have a safe, contained place to teach and have our riders interact with the horses!

In other horse-related news, Diamond, our rescue therapy horse who came to us in 2018 with breathing difficulties has been struggling to breathe with this recent bout of hot humid weather. He has been diagnosed by our veterinarian Dr. Bonney (Annabesacook Veterinary Practice) with asthma and has been started on antihistamines, as well as intermittent prednisone. At the moment with the cooler weather, he is much more comfortable. But the reality is that we are thinking of retiring Diamond and looking for a third horse. So the search begins! The therapy horse must be calm, yet inquisitive, trusting, and have intuitive capabilities, e.g., when to put down his head, not to be fearful of wheelchairs and walkers and other adaptive equipment, and to stand and allow adaptive mounting. So it takes time to find the right equine… one with a large heart and generous, gentle personality. But we need to begin the search. We will fill you in on the adventure!

Summer abundance…yummy!

Another project we are working on is an accessible shower and bathroom facility. We put a four-foot addition on the first-floor bathroom. Under the guidance of Caleb, owner of Level Construction Company, we added a sunken tile floor and shower all on one level, with bars strategically placed. It will help facilitate movement and transfers in the dressing area. It should be ready to use next week. This will be very beneficial to our participants. Summer is a time of preparation for the bitter winter. Things come to fruition and it causes one to sigh as the cycle of seasons unfolds and we begin the Harvest.

The drought has affected us but we are lucky to have a well and we are able to irrigate to some extent. Our vegetables are beginning to appear and we are able to share them and our flowers with all our friends. Of course, the hot days of summer we had this first week of August (the second week has brought us a reprieve) bring one’s thoughts to haying. Hay is essential to provide nourishment for our horses, goats, and even chickens. (They love to peck at the dried clover and Timothy bites in the flakes of hay when the ground is frozen ). Sadly, our hay farmer passed away this past winter, so the quest for a new hay source ensues. We traveled up to Guilford to the hay farm of Bill and Mary Kay Santoro and brought home 100 bales of first-cut quality horse hay on Ken’s (one of our Board members ) trailer. We are slated to pick up another 350 bales at the end of August. Second-cut hay is a bit smoother and greener than first-cut and our older horses prefer it, as it is more palatable for them.

This week we travel to Switzerland. Roland’s sister is struggling with health issues and Roland has not been home for four and a half years. So we leave the Farm to visit the family for a quick visit of ten days. Diane, one of our Board Members, will help out with the Farm activities e.g., animals and garden, as well as Mia. Programming will be suspended for the rest of August with a reopening in September, in time to harvest our pumpkins and prepare for our Open House on October 1. Stay tuned for more to come concerning the open house. Save the date and join us!

As I finish this it’s almost midnight and the crickets are humming. So as August continues to unfold…I offer you a beautiful August song! The full moon will grace us with her presence tomorrow, and the morning will come again. I close my summer musings with a poem by Mary Oliver:

 “Song of the Builders”
On a summer morning
I sat down
On a hillside
To think about God
A worthy pastime
Near me, I saw
A single cricket;
It was moving the grains of the hillside
this way and that way
How great was its energy
how humble its effort.
Let us hope
it will always be like this,
each of us going on
in our inexplicable ways
building the universe.

May every one of us continue to build and shape our environments, physical as well as spiritual, always thinking of God.

Enjoy the rest of this golden, light-filled August,
Robin for Ephphatha Farm

The garden is blooming.